PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF METHANOL EXTRACT OF RUSSELIA EQUISETIFORMIS AGAINST PARACETAMOL-INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY IN WISTAR RATS
Objectives: Liver diseases are among the health challenges facing many people and health care providers worldwide. In their search for solution to these problems, researchers are increasingly advocating the use of herbal preparations with proven efficacy in protecting against hepatic disorders. They also investigate medicinal plants with the aim of developing new drugs. Russelia equisetiformis is a plant which contains phytoconstituents that were reported to have biological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and membrane-stabilizing properties. In this study, the effect of methanol extract of R. equisetiformis (MEREQ) on paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity was investigated in rats.
Method: Rats were pretreated orally with graded doses (100 – 400 mg/kg b.w) of MEREQ for 7 days. On the 8th day, hepatotoxicity was induced in the pretreated rats with a single intraperitoneal injection of paracetamol (2 g/kg b.w). Rats were sacrificed on the 15th day; blood samples were taken for biochemical analysis, and the liver was excised for histopathological study. Biochemical parameters analyzed are alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total protein, albumin, and bilirubin.
Results: Administration of paracetamol in the rats resulted in significant increase (p<0.05) in the serum levels of AST, ALT, ALP, and bilirubin compared with the control. Treatment with MEREQ significantly reduced (p<0.05) the levels of these parameters in a dose-dependent manner, compared with the untreated rats. No significant changes were observed in the serum levels total protein and albumin. Histopathological examination showed that administration of paracetamol caused distortions in the architecture of the liver, but the degree of degeneration of hepatocytes was reduced in the MEREQ-treated rats.
Conclusion: From the results obtained in this study, it is concluded that methanol extract of R. equisetiformis has protective effect on paracetamol-induced hepatic injury.
Peer Review History:
Received 8 November 2020; Revised 14 Decembe; Accepted 3 January, Available online 15 January 2021
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